What are you Doing?!?

Shouldn't you be working right now?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ahhh, the North

You get used to it, this is what I tell people the most, you get used to it. You get used to slowing down, and the insane prices, and the crappy availability of regular consumer products (last Christmas, there was no milk to be found anywhere in the city for just over a week. There was eggnog though.). You get used to people not answering the phones in the middle of the day and week, you get used to buying everything on line. You also get used to having money, and having parties where everyone you invite shows up. You get used to doing things for your neighbors, and saying hi to strangers on the street. You get used to knowing EVERYONE.

I don't even notice price tags anymore, after three years. My mother says things like, "well, I would just do without rather then pay $10 for a carton of orange juice". But that's not how it works....how long you gonna go without orange juice ma? It's just money. If I wanted, if there was anything I did without, it might be a different story, but I want for nothing, and it's just money. You gotta be kinda zen you know, or you might lose your ever loving mind round here sometimes.

I have a perfect example. I'm starting a new chapter in my life - The Help Becomes a Nurse is what I'm calling it in my head. So classes start next Tuesday, but orientation begins tomorrow. Ask me what time orientation begins. No idea. Where is it? Excellent question, and if you hear the answer please let me know. I just called the one number that is listed for these vital questions, and when I called it, got a recording that states that they are super busy so stop calling. I guess I'll just show up at some point tomorrow then? Uh...

Let me tell you about the application process, it's a study in bureaucratic hell. So you have to get so many forms filled out, and if you've attended a post secondary institution (which I have, 2 different ones to be precise) you have to give your transcripts. You need three reference letters, a criminal record check, Christ I can't even remember what all else. So four months ago, I got all these bits of paper, and it wasn't easy dear readers, as most of the info needed currently resides in various paperwork factories, I mean government buildings, in Newfoundland. Nevertheless! I got everything in on time, and again my mother is a saint for running all over God's creation getting papers for me. I had three killer references - my boss (who wrote the sweetest, kindest reference ever), a good friend who happens to be an instructor at the very college, and a MLA (which is Member of the Legislative Assembly). I'm a good student, so I wasn't too worried about my transcripts. I've never been in trouble (knock wood), so no problem on the record check front. Done and done.

Three weeks after I hand in everything they've asked for, they decide they need to see my highschool grades. Now, I must insert here - I'm 33 years old. I have a degree and a diploma, but they wanted to see what I did 16 years ago. Obviously. So again I send my sainted mother to wait in line for me to get one piece of paper. The college receives said piece of paper, and after a week or two of deliberation, tells me that I have been accepted PROVISIONALLY, as my grade 11 math mark was not up to par. I shit you not. I had to do a math test, and once that was done I would receive the glorious acceptance letter. So I wrote the math test, killed it, and waited with bated breath for my letter. Which after ANOTHER three weeks, did not come. So I truck myself up to the college because I understand now that it's against some unwritten policy for anyone to answer any phone ever, where I am told that I have not been accepted. My acceptance is still pending.

So I think about it for a day. Then I very politely tell one of the registrar people that they have a week to get me a letter, or I'm withdrawing my application. The lady was quite shocked. I believe she is used to people laying themselves prostrate before her, throwing their lives into her hands, and possibly baking her cookies. I've never been very good at being an ass kisser, and as mentioned, I am much older and more experienced then most people who will be entering this program, and my bullshit tolerance barrier has been breached.

They did not call in the week. So I went on vacation assuming that I was not going to school, that my life would stay pretty much as it has been for the last few years. Then while I was in a bar in the middle of the day (what? I was on vacation) I get a call on my blackberry, I have indeed been accepted. Well.

Cut to me three weeks later. I STILL have not received the blessed acceptance letter (the letter that one can go no further as a student, or get financial assistance without). So again I walk myself up to the college, and let the head admissions person know. She says she'll do it when she can, and I counter with - I'm not leaving without it. I'll just sit outside your office then? Ok! I get the letter 30 seconds later. Weird.

Don't get me wrong, I didn't have to provide a parchment rubbing of Egyptian hieroglyphics or promise away my first born. I didn't need to bring in footage from the grassy knoll, or living proof of aliens, so I pretty much got off scot free right? It's done, I'm in, let the games begin.

Next of course, I've got to try and secure funding. If you see a whimpering shell of a woman, rocking and sucking her thumb in a corner, you'll at least know I made it out alive.

'Til next time,
The Help

Sunday, August 29, 2010

And so it begins

I don't know when I turned into one of those people - last night, me and my fave man were watching movies (instead of partying! Again!), and I was like, my god, it must be the middle of the night, I gotta go to bed. It was 10:30. What the what?! We did watch two great movies however (and not a zombie among 'em. I must be growing up) "Kick Ass" and "The Losers". "Kick Ass" is a little weird, pretty funny (this is so far the one and only Nick Cage effort that I enjoy) and SUPER FUCKING VIOLENT. And theres a little girl majorly involved with the violence, so don't watch it if it'll put you off your cornflakes. Blood everywhere, and you can hear the body hits. Wonderful. The other one, "The Losers", I'd never even heard of before, but it came with high recommendations from my bestie Matthew, and he's usually good for it. It was a really good time, funny, with lots of stuff getting blown up in over the top ways. I do enjoy a good smashy-smashy.

In other news, I'm never going to finish this farking book. So today I'll begin posting "Drowning in Idiots: A How To Guide", because I still want it out there, I still want it read. Some of you have read this before, some, this is the first time, so some notes first: 1. yes I wrote it all 2. you are totally welcome to share with people, just please use my name (I'm making the "hi-ya" threatening sounds at you right now), don't be stealing my work please 3. Yes, while some of this may sound familiar, I'm not talking about anyone specific, generally. 4. Theres lots of swears, so if you don't like that kind of thing, don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.

It started as a joke rant after dealing with idiots at my job, and so many people read, and commented and made me feel like a rock star, that I just kept it up. I aim for funny, but it can't all be gold right? Mostly, I just want  people to remember that we're all people, and for god's sake, we're got to take better care of each other. We have to be nicer. And so it begins.

How to Stay in a Hotel (Part 1 in the How to Not be an Idiot Series)

Staying in a hotel  seems like something everyone knows how to do right? You are wrong. People are idiots. Unfortunately, you are people, therefore, you are an idiot. I'm sorry to be the one to tell you, but thats the way shit is. I have a theory that the further from home you are, the stupider you get, so I'm going t tell you all a few things from a hotel perspective:

  • Yes, you will need a credit card. I am baffled by people who are surprised about this. It's a global standard, and any place you don't need a credit card for? You don't want to stay there. Trust.
  • If the front desk person is super friendly, no, that does not mean they want in your pants. It's their JOB to be friendly. Also, unless you've been specifically invited, no one at the front desk wants you to come hang out and chat. I promise, none of them give a rats ass, but they are too professional/polite to tell you that they have shit to do.
  • If someone remembers your name, give 'em a freaking prize! No other details will be recalled. Nadda.
  • If the room you requested is not available, that means it's not available. Don't be an idiot! I know it's hard but giving someone hell over a room you want when there are many many identical rooms.....well, thats idiot behavior. And if there are no rooms available at all, shitting on the front desk person is not going to magically build a room right? Be a grown up, find somewhere else to go. Also, be responsible for your own aaccommodation - make reservations.
  • No one says "please" or "thank you" anymore. Is it so hard?? Do it and see what happens.You'd probably be surprised at how easy a hotel person can make your life if they like you.
  • Yelling is uncool, in any situation. So is name calling - yeah yeah, everyone who is reading this is relatively calm, but are you innocent? Probably not. Again, I'm going to ask you to trust me, life will become miserable. Any guest who uses up all their nice cards in one shot with me always regrets it later. I will always be polite, I will always get your shit done, but certainly not in a timely fashion, and probably not in the way you envisioned. I have learned how to make "thank you" sound like "fuck you"
  • READ THE SIGNS PEOPLE!! For whatever question you have, there are probably three signs in your room telling you the answer.
  • It is not the hotel person's fault that you had four layovers, and your luggage is lost, and your wife made you sleep on the couch for the last week. Be nice. Keep in mind that the person working behind the desk has a whole life outside of the building, and they may have been sleeping on the couch themselves. I'm not saying you need to tolerate shitty customer service, just have normal expectations.
  • The front desk person is not a housekeeper. Say it with me - the front desk person is not a housekeeper. And housekeepers are not maids, it's totally insulting to be called a maid, so give it up! The front desk person is not your personal assistant, your bitch, your mother, your spouse, your shrink, your matchmaker......
This stuff doesn't just apply to hotels, it applies in real life as well - tour guides, retail people, teachers, the voice at the call center. I guess what I'm basically saying is, be nice. Don't be an idiot.

So that's for today my darlings,
The Help

Saturday, August 28, 2010

No turns to Negative Town today

I started to write about the soul destroying, will-to-live sucking experience I've had in the last few days, the dreaded trying to collect a plane ticket offa the folks at aeroplan, but I have decided that it's too much negativity, and jeebus, life is too short.

So I've had the last couple of days off of work, which is why there have been no postings - I don't have internet at home. I don't have cable either. It's because I'm too cheap, and I'd just spend all my time watching Glee anyways. I thought in the beginning that I would miss tv, and I'd definitely miss the internet, but not so my friends, no so. The internet for me is just a giant recipe box with sometime visits to wikipedia, and I can do that stuff on my blackberry. I find that when I leave work, and thus leaving the internet behind, I'm forced to slow down, and I love that. I read and take baths, and make stuff. I drink tea and visit with people. Sounds like fun right? Aahh, life before texting. And the television thing. I'm not one of those people who pretends that they've never owned a tv, and are above such shallow time wasting (uuuuggggh, just picture one of those people. Insufferable right? Ok, now picture one of those people locked in a room with Chuck Norris). I like tv, don't get me wrong. But there are definatly pros to not having cable for the last three years - if I watch a tv show, it's on dvd, so the next episode is always available, no waiting for next week. There's no commercials on dvds either, and I really really hate commercials. Theres no such thing as Jersey Shore or The Hills in my world. There is no room for Paris Hilton. I love movies, so I watch lots and I have a dizzying dvd collection. I kick yo ass in movie triva, oh yes. And all that money that I don't spend on internet and cable is pretty handy to have around. You know, pay off debt (ok ok, pay debt and buy zombie shoes). So yes, I'm too cheap to spend the approximatly 100 million dollars on cable and internet (God bless the north), but my quality of life is WAY high, so maybe that's a good thing. To quote the great Russell Peters - "you pronounced it 'cheap' but what I heard was 'smart'".

Which brings me to today's slice of deep fried awesome. That would be Russell Peters' stand up dvd "Red, White and Brown". Oh my god, the first time I watched this video.....be warned though. It is not for the faint of heart, and he is on the verge of racist against oh, EVERYONE, but Christ on a mic, is it ever funny. My sister gave me this video for Christmas a few years ago, and I opened it first cause I knew it was a dvd. I had no idea who Russell Peters was, and I wasn't expecting much. Not because my sister has bad taste, but because you never know with stand up, maybe he's not my kind of funny. So I put on this video while I was eating breakfast on Christmas morning, opening the rest of my gifts. Well I believe I inhaled some of my fishcakes with the laughing, and I will forever have cod lodged in my brain. For the love of God don't let your kids watch it.

And that be all today my darlings, Momma got livin' to do.

The Help

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I'll Just Be Out Back......

.....pretending it's another Thursday. It is of course Wednesday, but it feels like Friday, and I don't think I could confuse myself any further if I tried. I've been feeling mildly crazy (or super extra crazy, depending on who you ask) today, and I don't know if it's the weather (god awful), pms (likely), or the build up to what is surely going to be the craziest time of my life, but I do know that if the frigging phone rings one more frigging time, I'm gonna take it apart piece by piece and eat it. Not even deep fried. Have you ever had a day like that? Not a bad day as such, just one of those days that you don't know whether to scratch your watch or wind your butt? That is today for I.

There's been good bits though. My dear friend Angela called me out of the blue, which was a lovely treat, and I had a KILLER lunch with my favorite man -this sandwich concoction with flat bread, pesto, rosemary roasted chicken and cheese, it was offensively good, definitely going on my regular menu rotation. I made plans to start up my choir for the season again today. I got many sweet kisses. Good things that make me forget that I want to light my hair on fire sometimes, just to get out of dealing with idiots.

Moving on! So as mentioned, I have a secret (well, not so secret now) obsession with gossip blogs. I love this stuff, because I feel morally superior (oh please, don't judge me for judging these fools. I have two words for you: Lindsey Lohan), smart (well hello Jessica Simpson), well-adjusted (unlike the various Spearses. Spears's? Speari? whatever, you know what I mean) and there pictures of pretty boys and sometimes there's shoes. I read four with fair regularity, but my longest standing gossip love affair is with Lainey at www.laineygossip.com. She be a judgy, fickle bitch, and I love every word out of her mouth. I love that she's Canadian, and a proud Canadian. I feel like she knows me better for this. I love that she hates all this Twilight foolishness, but what I love the most, it's that she relishes shattering the illusions of the unwashed masses like ourselves. She doesn't want you to be fooled by press conferences and crocodile tears, fake boobs and lashes. She wants you to see these people as they really are - flawed, dumb, entitled HUMANS. So today, Lainey is my slice of fried awesome.

Aaannnnd, there goes the phone again. It was fun while it lasted.

The Help

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hilarity and Deep Fried Awesome

Have you ever had a touton? It's fried bread dough with butter and molasses, and until you've had some, you don't even know what deep fried awesome is - get a Newfoundlander to make 'em for you, we're the only ones that know how to do it right. One of my favorite cookbooks, called "Fatback and Molasses" is seriously old school Newfoundland, and it seems like all the recipes are written by your Aunt Mildred from Black Duck Cove (I don't actually know anyone from Black Duck Cove, couldn't even tell you where it is on a map, I just like the way those words sound together. Weird? Perhaps). My favorite part isn't the recipes as such, though there are lots of good ones, my favorite part is the instructions for the recipes......my go-to brownie recipe is on page 141, and after listing the ingredients, the reader/chef is instructed to put the batter in a greased baking pan and "bake in the oven until done". Riiiight. The assumption that you just know what the proper temperature is, and also how long it's supposed to bake for, I die at it.

I had a tidbit about some hospitality hilarity here for about 15 seconds til I decided that maybe a tell-all while I'm working here might not be the best plan for my career at this stage. It's too bad cause the story was funny, and such a good example of how people treat the help - like a cross between Aladdin's genie and Mr. Belvedere, with a side order of Whitney Houston's fictional sister in "The Body Guard".

And today, for the first ever slice of deep fried awesome, you should check out www.textsfromlastnight.com. The first day I went on this site, I was engrossed for hours, banging my head on my desk laughing. Like fear of vomit laughing. At one point I had to answer the work phone, and had to give myself a mental slap to stop braying like an idiot. I pick up the phone, and instead of my usual extremely perky, professional greeting, I snorted directly into the phone. Long and loud. It was a proud moment.

Now get back to work. Or have some of The Sex.

The Help

Monday, August 23, 2010

Alright already

So I write a lot. Like, a lot. I used to publish stuff on facebook, but all their privacy/lack thereof issues give me the heebie jeebies, plus! I kept hearing it over and over - "you should write a blog". So here I is. Writing.

I haven't got a specific type of blog in mind, this isn't going to be all about cooking, or idiots, though I do enjoy cooking and making fun of idiots. I'm gonna write about what I feel like writing about, and sorta see what happens from there. I have two friends who write blogs that I freakin love, and as soon as I figure out how, I'll link it all up. Or something.

First order of business. I wrote a book last year, or rather, a series of blogs (see?) and I was gonna publish, like on paper, but I have so many balls in the air right now, what with the jobs, upcoming school and a fresh relationship, that not only do I not want to spend any more time reading/editing/beating my head against a wall, I don't want to put any money into it. Right here my friends, I'm gonna publish it segment by segment, and wash my hands of the whole mess.

Why I'm "The Help". I work in the service industry, have forever. I feel like you can tell a lot about a person by how they treat the help, such as myself, and while I've become increasingly frustrated with being the help, I have signed up for a school program where I will forever be the help  - Nursing. Clearly, I'm a glutton for punishment. I'm in it for the cute hat.

So my dears, my darlings, have patience with me, for I know not what I do. Yet. But I will, swears.